The High Energy Food Plan that I created in February, 2006, was the result of 15 years of studying and applying good nutritional habits. I have eaten basically the healthiest foods since I moved to Florida in 1983. But I ate too much of the right foods.
Having quit drinking in 1976 and smoking in 1989, I have been thinking about losing weight for 10 years. Obviously, I haven’t been working at it too hard. The hardest part of giving up an addiction is making the decision to give it up. Years ago, I learned that you leave an addiction when the pain outweighs the pleasure. I don’t know what made me decide that February to lose weight.
I started working around the foods that I don’t want to live without. My idea was that losing weight was hard enough without not enjoying the foods I ate.
Many of the books that helped me to formulate my weight loss plan are in the Changemaker Library. One of the first to help me to get my thinking about food off quantity and onto portions was The 7 Secrets of Slim People. The main idea I kept from that book was to not eat unless I was physically hungry. I couldn’t remember the last time my body and not my mind told me I “wanted something”. My mind is so devious that I told myself I would faint if I went without food for any period of time. I decided to change what and when I ate so I started a food journal. Armed with Barbara Kraus’s Carbohydrates and Calories, I wrote down everything I ate for five days.
I used the High Energy Food Plan to lose 20 pounds in 2006. And, now in 2015, I needed to lose 30 pounds. Seems like a pattern here. This time, I promise myself that I will weigh nyself each week to stay ahead of the fat gain.
And so I began a month ago. First step for me is to shrink my stomach. I did and have lost 6 pounds so far.
In an article from the Mayo Clinic, several suggestions for eating emotionally–using food to avoid feeling negative feelings. The suggestions are:
- Learn to recognize true hunger. Is your hunger physical or emotional? If you ate just a few hours ago and don’t have a rumbling stomach, you’re probably not really hungry. Give the craving a few minutes to pass.
- Know your triggers. For the next several days, write down what you eat, how much you eat, when you eat, how you’re feeling when you eat and how hungry you are. Over time, you may see patterns emerge that reveal negative eating patterns and triggers to avoid.
- Look elsewhere for comfort. Instead of unwrapping a candy bar, take a walk, treat yourself to a movie, listen to music, read or call a friend. If you think that stress relating to a particular event is nudging you toward the refrigerator, try talking to someone about it to distract yourself. Plan enjoyable events for yourself.
- Don’t keep unhealthy foods around. Avoid having an abundance of high-calorie comfort foods in the house. If you feel hungry or blue, postpone the shopping trip for a few hours so that these feelings don’t influence your decisions at the store.
- Snack healthy. If you feel the urge to eat between meals, choose a low-fat, low-calorie food, such as fresh fruit, vegetables with fat-free dip or unbuttered popcorn. Or test low-fat, lower calorie versions of your favorite foods to see if they satisfy your craving.
- Eat a balanced diet. If you’re not getting enough calories to meet your energy needs, you may be more likely to give in to emotional eating. Try to eat at fairly regular times and don’t skip breakfast. Include foods from the basic groups in your meals. Emphasize whole grains, vegetables and fruits, as well as low-fat dairy products and lean protein sources. When you fill up on the basics, you’re more likely to feel fuller, longer.
- Exercise regularly and get adequate rest. Your mood is more manageable and your body can more effectively fight stress when it’s fit and well rested.